Burn lips

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 25.06.2018

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When it comes to the face, the most delicate and delicate parts of it are the eyes and lips. Because of its insecurity, location and functions, it is the lips that are most susceptible to injury. The most frequent among injuries of this part of the body is the burn of the lip, which occurs under the influence of chemical or temperature stimuli. Its consequences can be a feeling of discomfort and pain that causes anxiety, especially during meals. And all would be nothing, if it was not on the face. After all, wounds on the lips - this is also a strong blow to the aesthetic side of the exterior.

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Burns are among the most common injuries in the world. In different countries, the rate of burn injuries ranges from 200 to 400 cases per 100 thousand of the population. And burns in his lips are not the last place. The most frequent among them are household burns to lips with boiling or hot water (about 30% of the total). Most often, this type of injury affects women and children. Chemical burns are most common to children and adolescents because of their curiosity, but lack of knowledge in the field of physics and chemistry.

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Causes of the burn lips

The most frequent causes of the burn of the lips are the exposure to the skin of certain chemicals (alcohol, acids, alkalis) and the influence of sufficiently high temperatures (hot air and steam, boiling water, hot metal and other objects, freshly prepared food, fire, sun). In this regard, distinguish the main types of burn lips: thermal and chemical.

Thermal burns in everyday life occur much more often chemical. Cooking and eating hot food are the most common risk factors for thermal burns. From this, most often suffer from mistresses who fry, boil, bake and, accordingly, taste the food for taste and readiness. And uninvited "guests" in the kitchen are exposed to thermal burns, and it is with the strength of their impatience. Therefore, burning your lips with boiling water is a very common phenomenon faced by both adults and children.

By the way, in the kitchen a small burn of the lips can cause and some sharp seasonings, for example, hot pepper.

The second most common cause of burns is smoking. The habit of smoking a cigarette without a filter and making it to the finish only aggravates the situation. Sometimes in the fuse of conversation a person may not notice that he accidentally turned a cigarette in his hands, and this incident can also lead to injury to the lips. According to statistics, most often in such cases a person receives a burn of the lower lip.

A fairly common cause of burns of the upper lip is wax epilation. This happens at the time of application of hot wax on the nasolabial triangle for the subsequent removal of hairs after the wax has cooled. The burn of the lip after depilation manifests itself in the form of redness and burning of the skin in the region of the upper lip.

Very rarely there are violations of the integrity of the skin on the lip under the influence of electric current. But such a special kind of thermal burns like sunburn of the lips - a fairly frequent phenomenon, especially in the summer.

With chemical burns, you can most often encounter iodine, alcohol, etc. During dental treatment at the dentist or careless home treatment (for example, the throat or wounds on the lips). Some drugs used in dentistry can cause burn mucous, so burning the lips at the dentist is not such a rare phenomenon. Usually this happens either with a lack of professionalism from the doctor, or by carelessness of patients who can suddenly jerk their head or not close their mouths during dental treatment. In such cases, it happens that the burn covers not only the visible part, but also the mucosa of the inner side of the lip, as well as the tongue, and sometimes the upper or lower sky. By the way, this is also characteristic of thermal burns with liquids.

Burning lips with ammonia and other fairly aggressive medications happens usually during the opening of bottles from under them with the help of teeth. But ammonia, like any other alcohol, can leave behind a very severe burn on the oral mucosa.

From the various burns to the lips, young children often suffer because of their habit of pulling everything in their mouths and tasting. At the same time, their sense of self-preservation is not yet developed. Mucous in children are even more tender and sensitive than in adults, so the child's lips can be burned by the action of even lower temperatures than is permissible for adults.

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High temperature with thermal burn has a destructive effect on the cells, causing a malfunction in their functioning and death. The degree of damage depends on the temperature (from 41 о С and above), as well as the duration of the action of high temperatures.

Chemical burns of the lips in most cases cause the death (necrosis) of tissues in the lesion. The complexity of the symptomatology of the burn process depends on the chemical substance and its concentration. And alkalis cause more serious and deep burns than acids.

Concentrated chemicals are fast, the effects of their entry on the mucosa are immediately visible, which can not be said for substances with lower concentration. Moreover, the destructive effect of chemicals on skin cells is not limited to the time of contact, it lasts for a certain time after the substance is completely removed from the surface of the skin.

Inflamed lips with bleeding cracks significantly impair the quality of life. A person can not fully eat and communicate, he has problems with breathing and sleeping. All this undermines the vital forces of man. In addition, an open wound is always the goal for the attack of viruses and microbes that provoke the development of concomitant diseases.

The danger of chemical burns is also in the fact that some aggressive substances have a toxic effect and can affect the functioning of certain organs and systems of the body. So the burn of the lip with chemicals can have extremely unpleasant consequences and complications, both in the present and in the future. And the remaining unaesthetic scars are far from the most terrible of them.

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Symptoms of the burn lips

Depending on the temperature and time of exposure, different degrees of burn are observed, characterized by general and specific symptoms.

1 degree is the easiest, appears with short-term exposure to the thermal factor. With it, there is only a small inflammatory process, manifested in the form of reddening of the lesion, the emergence of growing pain, small swelling and local fever. These same symptoms are the first signs of a burn, both first and second degree.

Lip burn of the 2nd degree is observed with longer exposure to high temperatures. It is characterized by the same symptoms as in the first case, but they are accompanied by the appearance of blisters with a clear liquid at the burn site, especially in the central part of the affected area. Opening of blisters reveals ulcers (erosions) on the site, the surface of which can dry up and burst, forming bleeding painful cracks.

Burning of the lips of the third degree significantly increases the total area of the lesion, the ulcers differ in their depth and total death of the tissues, sometimes with the release of pus. Painful sensations are severe and require the use of pain medications. There is a strong swelling of the mucosa with the formation of an inverted red border of the lips, which resembles the mouth of a fish.

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Diagnostics of the burn lips

Since the burn of the lip can be caused by various factors, it is necessary to accurately determine the effective treatment of the injury under the influence of which a burn has occurred. The need to diagnose this condition stems from the fact that the approaches to the treatment of thermal and chemical burns differ from each other already at the stage of first aid.

Usually for the diagnosis is sufficient methods of differential diagnosis, based on the collection of anamnesis and external examination of the patient. In case of a chemical burn, you may also need a blood test. Difficulties in diagnosis can cause a chemical burn of the lips in a child 1-3 years old, which occurred when adults were not around. In such a case, it is difficult to identify the chemical that caused the burn of the lips, because the child is in a state of shock from pain and can not clearly explain what exactly happened.

If an accident happens, the most important thing is not to panic. And for this you need to clearly understand the answer to the question: what to do if you burn your lips in the first place? So, whatever the burn, the first thing to do is to rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water. Do this carefully, trying not to touch the burned place once again. This procedure will not only reduce pain, but also help to relieve inflammation and mucosal edema.

This first aid measure is suitable for both thermal and chemical burns, with the exception of burns with quicklime. In this case, the usual running water is replaced with a specially prepared 20% solution of sugar, from which the lotions are made to the affected area.

Despite the fact that water helps to clean the burned surface of the lips from the stimulus, it can not completely neutralize its effect. Therefore, it is preferable to use the counteraction method, in other words, neutralize acidic stimuli with alkaline solutions and vice versa. To alkaline solutions can be attributed a solution of soap or soda, as well as a weak solution of liquid ammonia, to acid solutions - solutions of citric acid or vinegar with water.

Further treatment of the burn of the lip will depend on the degree of its severity, and on the nature of the burn itself. If thermal burns of 1 and even 2 degrees can be successfully treated at home, then 3 severity requires monitoring in the hospital. This can not be said about chemical burns, the treatment of which should be conducted under the guidance of a doctor.

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Who to contact?

Treatment of the burn lips

All procedures performed immediately after the onset of injury and subsequent actions should pursue the following objectives:

  • Elimination of the inflammatory process
  • Reduction of pain.

But now the strength and depth of the burn will prompt you to choose the ways to achieve these goals. With a slight thermal burn (grade 1), treatment in hospital units is not practical. Remove redness, swelling and tenderness can be at home by alternative methods.

The same applies to second-degree burns. The exception is the occurrence of blisters, the opening of which requires the attention of the doctor. In any case, it is not necessary to conduct blistering alone, as there is a possibility of infection. It is advisable to treat erosion at the site of blisters with antiseptic preparations.

Treatment of a burn of a lip with the use of solutions of potassium permanganate or tannin will help the wound to be tightened more quickly, but this process will be accompanied by soreness in the area of the burn due to the formation of dry crust (burning and skin tightening sensation). Therefore, if the wound is located outside the lip and prone to drying, it makes sense to apply topically antibacterial ointments.

Remarkable effect in this regard has an ointment on a water-soluble basis "Levomekol", which has a rich composition. Despite the rather low cost of the drug, it has an excellent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect. At the same time, a dense crust does not form on the burn site, it is prone to cracking, the wound quickly and practically painlessly tightens, leaving no noticeable scars behind.

Ointment has practically no contraindications, except for cases of hypersensitivity. Apply it locally, applying to the wound an impregnated napkin, or simply smear with an ointment place of burn lips.

"Levosin" - antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ointment, which also has a noticeable analgesic effect. It is indicated for use, both at the site of the opened bladder, and in the area of suppurating wounds at stage 3 of the burn. Ointment literally pulls pus from the wound and disinfects it.

Like the previous drug, it is contraindicated only with increased sensitivity to the components of the drug and applied directly to the burn. To side effects of the drug can be attributed only to allergic manifestations in the form of a rash on the skin. The use of the drug during pregnancy and lactation is possible only according to the doctor's indications.

A good anti-inflammatory and restorative effect on the cells of the mucosa is provided with ointments based on natural resins and wax. They help the wound from burn lips to tighten more quickly, preventing the formation of pus. These ointments also form a kind of protective film that prevents the entry of microbes into the lesion. A vivid example of such a remedy for burns is the "Biopin" ointment.

To treat various burns on the outer side of the lip, a 5% ointment is used. Apply it to the wound in an amount of 1-2 g, depending on the size of the damaged surface. Contraindication to use is only individual intolerance of the drug. With the same is associated with the presence of side effects in the form of burning and redness.

By the way, a similar, though less pronounced, action is also possessed by the well-known cream "Rescuer", a native of many home medicine kits.

The burn of the inner side of the lip is not prone to drying out. As an antimicrobial in this case, use liquid antiseptics (a weak solution of potassium permanganate, furacilin or tannin), as well as chamomile broth for anti-inflammatory effect in the form of lotions and rinses.

Burn lips, especially 2 and 3 degrees, are accompanied by severe pain. To remove such feelings, we use the usual for us, inexpensive drugs, such as "Analgin", "Baralgin", "Tempalgin", etc.

Tempalgin is an anesthetic drug that not only removes pain, but also helps to reduce the temperature that has increased as a result of the burn. In addition, the drug has a slight anti-inflammatory and soothing effect. You can take the drug, starting with 14 years. Before this age it is better to limit yourself to "Analgin". The daily dose of the drug is usually from 1 to 3 tablets. One can take up to 2 tablets, no more than 5 days in a row.

The drug has some contraindications for use: marked renal, hepatic or heart failure, low blood pressure, problems with hematopoiesis, aspirin asthma, pregnancy and breastfeeding, hypersensitivity to the drug. Common side effects include: headaches and dizziness, pressure jumps and heart rhythm disorders, burning in the stomach and dry mouth of the mouth, changes in blood composition and color of urine, allergic reactions.

Alternative treatment for burn lips

Alternative medicine advises in the case of a burn to proceed as follows. First, carefully inspect the wound and as soon as possible to cool it with clean water or cool compresses. The stronger the burn, the more prolonged cooler baths are needed to relieve inflammation and pain.

Sometimes as an analgesic and disinfectant advise to use alcohol. But in the case of mucous membranes, such treatment can only exacerbate the situation, causing additional skin burn with sensitive skin. The same applies to the effects of salt and soda on the affected area. It is better to use solutions of these products (1 tsp per glass of water) if there is a burn of the outer or inner part of the lip. A similar effect is provided by a lotion of a weak solution of manganese.

But a decoction of chamomile or St. John's wort (1 tablespoon of herb per glass of water), boiled for 10 minutes, in the form of rinses and lotions will help reduce pain, relieve inflammation and prevent suppuration of the burn wound, without damaging the delicate skin of mucous membranes. Herbal treatment in this case means the use of plants that have anti-inflammatory and sedative effects, both as lotions and rinses, and as a therapeutic drink. Such plants include chamomile, St. John's wort, yarrow, burdock, marigold flowers, plantain, etc. Decoctions of these herbs and their collections will help in a short time to turn terrible wounds into a barely noticeable pink surface.

But burdock and plantain can be used in the treatment of burn lips and in the form of gruel from the leaves of the plant, applied to the damaged surface of the skin. For convenience, the gruel is wrapped in gauze. From the tincture of calendula and Vaseline (1: 2), you can prepare a wonderful ointment from burns and other wounds. Helps with burns and smearing the place of damage with aloe juice.

In the place of a burn, you can put a potato slice, pumpkin or carrot, or use for juice lotion of these vegetables. A good anti-inflammatory effect is the fresh brewing of black tea, but it must be used completely chilled, as the baked surface becomes very sensitive to heat and the pain intensifies.

Of oils, a sea-buckthorn oil has a good anti-inflammatory and healing effect. On the basis of olive and butter, you can prepare ointments from burns:

  1. Olive oil and chalk mix in such proportions that the mass has got a consistence of a cream.
  2. A tablespoon of butter to melt, mix with fresh egg and whisk until the mixture thickens and will look like a cream.

Ointments should be applied to the wounds and kept until completely absorbed. They will help to remove inflammation and pain, and also prevent the appearance of scars from burns.

The sunburn of the lip, which is manifested by such symptoms as swelling and redness, peeling of the skin and the formation of blisters on the mucous lips, is the first applicant for home treatment. Among drugs, the best-known for improving the situation is the "Panthenol", known since childhood. Among the alternative medicine, sour cream, raw egg white, aloe juice, sea buckthorn oil have a remarkable effect in this case.

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Homeopathy with burn lips

Homeopathic, like any other treatment for burn lips pursues 2 main goals: the removal of pain and prevention of infection in the wound. The means used to solve this problem are assigned depending on the degree of tissue damage. So for burns of 1 degree the most actual will be preparations of arnica and aconite.

Arnica 30 has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. The drug can be taken as a granule or as an ointment. Granules are taken before or after meals (one hour before meals or half an hour after it) for 2-3 pieces at a time. They need to be held under the tongue until they are completely dissolved. In the first hours after the burn, the drug is taken every 10-15 minutes, then the interval is increased to 3.5-4 hours or more. The ointment is applied directly to the damaged area until the symptoms of the burn disappear completely.

"Aconite 30" - anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and pain-relieving homeopathic preparation used for burns inward in the form of granules and externally as a tincture in 30-fold dilution. Granules are taken half an hour before or one hour after meals in the amount of 8 pieces under the tongue. In the early days, reception is recommended every 3 hours. From dilute tinctures make lotions to the place of burn lips.

Aconite - a poisonous plant, so its use should be strictly in doses recommended by a homeopathic doctor. The drug is contraindicated in low blood pressure and hot flashes, as well as with individual drug intolerance. Side effects are associated with the last contraindication. At pregnancy consultation of the gynecologist in occasion of safety of application of the given agent is required.

Lip burn of the 2nd degree with the appearance of blisters requires the addition of a drug that prevents the infection of sores at the site of the blisters and their suppuration. For this purpose, prescribe a homeopathic preparation "Kantaris" with a 30-fold dilution. In the form of granules applied to 5 pieces under the tongue. It can be applied directly to the burn site, diluting 5 granules in water or a lotion of calendula flowers. When applied locally, burning is felt on the damaged skin, but this is a normal reaction. A similar action is possessed by the homeopathic remedy "Urtica Urens".

At a chemical burn of a lip at adults and children the preparation on the basis of sulfuric acid "Sulfurikum atidum" in 30-fold breeding is shown . Drops neutralize the effects of harmful and hazardous chemicals. Use after thorough washing of the wound with water. Inside the drug take 2-3 times a day between meals. It can also be used as external lotions, which reduce the absorption of harmful substances into the blood.


It may sound a little strange, but some types of burns can be easily prevented if you give a little more attention to yourself and your children. Chemical burn of the lips is mainly a child's trauma, which occurs mainly through the fault of adults. Be they a little more attentive to the interests of their kids, troubles could be avoided. In general, by and large, household chemicals should be located in a residential area beyond the reach of children with their usual curiosity.

Yes, and adults should not be more careful with such substances, and do not try to open bottles with corrosive substances teeth, which becomes a frequent cause of burn lips.

A sunburn of the lips can be prevented if you apply a protective cream with a suitable degree of protection before applying to the beach, to the dacha or to take a walk in the hot summer sunlight.

Keep in the home medicine cabinet such necessary tools as "Pantenol" and "Rescuer". Believe me, they will help you in different situations more than once. Even if you do not manage to prevent a burn, you can, of course, be able to significantly reduce its consequences with the help of these tools.

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Burn lips - this is not a life-threatening injury. Nevertheless, significant pain, discomfort during the conversation and eating, and perhaps even marks in the form of burn scars are provided to you. The prognosis of this condition depends on the degree of burn injury. Burns 1 and 2 degrees usually last for 1-5 days, leaving no significant traces. After third degree burns with a significant surface and depth of tissue death, unaesthetic traces may remain, which, however, are subject to the skilful hand of the plastic surgeon.


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